After spending two decades in the healthcare industry as a salesforce team leader, training manager, and change management strategist, Lakethen now dedicates much of his time developing cultural landscapes that invigorate opportunities for Memphians to thrive. He is an accomplished songwriter, documentary film producer, community organizer, and content creator, intently focused on advocating for the betterment of those around him.
Lakethen founded Memphis FilmWorks in early 2016 as a non-profit media production company to produce social impact documentaries and community events that reflect the artistic vision, human connection, and a shared sense of humanity and culture throughout the Mid South. Multiple film projects and community events later, Lakethen is ready to move Memphis FilmWorks and his beloved city of Memphis to the next level of creativity, community, and industry phenomenon.
Our Neighbors, Our Stories assesses the unique challenges, goals, and revitalization efforts of a number of historic Memphis neighborhoods through the lens of the families and residents who have called these neighborhoods home over the last one hundred years.
Some of the neighborhoods highlighted in this series include Raleigh, Frayser, Soulsville, South City, Whitehaven, Alcy Ball, Uptown, Klondike, Smokey City, Orange Mound, Hyde Park, Springdale, Douglas, Binghampton, and more. Many of these neighborhoods were once considered highly desirable areas for working-class African Americans who were able to own their homes, raise their families in a nurturing environment, manage small businesses, and provide healthy ecosystems for these communities. Down through the years, a significant number of these historic neighborhoods are facing an uphill battle fighting deterioration, environmental degradation, urban decay, eroding industrialization, property abandonment, mobility concerns, lack of job access, blight, and other concerns.
What is HAP?
The MFW History Ambassadors Program otherwise known as HAP is an interactive, educational experience designed to enhance the knowledge of middle and high school students in underserved neighborhoods about the rich history, heritage, and culture of its surroundings and throughout the Mid-south.
What Does HAP Offer?
HAP offers a six-week experience each Fall, Spring, and Summer that engages students and artists about important people, places, and events that have shaped Memphis’s story. We are highly focused on the experiences and contributions made by people of color and indigenous populations relevant to the Memphis story.
How We Engage?
Participants work with community historians, museum curators and have the opportunity to visit historic landmark sites critical to understanding our shared humanity.
Why HAP Matters?
HAP graduates are using their voice and artistic expression to honor, preserve and promote the art, life, history, and culture of the Mid-South.